Source: City in the Forest press release.
“Jerry Seinfeld once quipped that, “Atlanta is nothing but traffic and trees.1” He’s right – we’ve got plenty of both, but not for long if we don’t fix our Tree Ordinance. No matter where you live in Atlanta, you’ve witnessed more and more trees being cut for development.
Atlanta is Unique
No other major American city has the urban forest Atlanta has, but unlike other cities less than 5% of our canopy is protected in parks and nearly 80% of our canopy is located in single-family residential zoning. This is why a strong Tree Ordinance is critical if we want to preserve our famous canopy. Our current ordinance permits most or all trees to be cut on redeveloped lots. If we keep cutting neighborhood trees at the current rate, we will no longer live in a City in the Forest.
Our Trees Are Beloved
A wise man once said, if you’re living in Atlanta just for a job, you’re not living here for the right reasons. Atlanta is growing rapidly, and its trees are a part of what make it a place where people want to live. Jason Brady, a film professional, says he moved here for film and stayed for the trees. “When I first flew in, I was surprised by how green the city was,” Brady says. “Now, at home in East Atlanta, we have 15 mature trees on less than a quarter acre.”
The New Atlanta Tree Ordinance – A fleeting opportunity
Between now and this summer, the City is revising the Tree Ordinance. The updated ordinance will either protect our canopy, or Atlanta will become an unbearable place to live with catastrophic stormwater costs, falling property values, and broken communities. The ordinance will not be revised again for at least another decade and the city is poised to double or triple its population in the next 30 years…so it is now or never.
City in the Forest (CityintheForest.org), CITF, is a non-profit coalition of residents from metro-Atlanta neighborhoods who are building support for better tree protection. CITF is urging residents write their Council person and Tim Keane today. Ask that they use the power of their office to support changes that protect more trees, our best trees, and our highest value urban forest.
Key Contacts for Candler Park residents:
Commissioner of City Planning: Tim Keane, 404-330-6037, email@example.com
Atlanta City Council President: Felicia Moore, 404-330-6052, firstname.lastname@example.org
District 2: Amir R. Farokhi, 404-330-6038, email@example.com
Demand changes to our Tree Ordinance that:
- SAVE MORE TREES: plan for trees when development begins
- PRESERVE OUR BEST TREES
- REDUCE GRADING AND IMPERVIOUS SURFACE
- EFFECTIVE ENFORCEMENT
If we properly strengthen our Tree Ordinance and grow wisely we CAN preserve what makes our City special. In a world that is being overcome by rampant urbanization, Atlanta has the opportunity to create a global model for smart growth and sustaining a healthy urban forest.